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Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki
Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

"One day, one of these collections of assholes comes across a thing they can barely understand. Real treasure. Not gold, or rubies, or any of that. They found the secret."
"What secret?"
"Immortality. Bringing the dead back to life."
Stick and Matt Murdock[src]

The Resurrection Elixir, also known as The Substance, is a mystical substance that was synthesized from the bones of the Dragons of K'un-Lun by the fingers of the Hand.


"There is a legend about a shepherd from the village of my great-grandfather. He made an arrangement with the Hand, just like your father. He was killed on the battlefield. More than once. And every time he arrived back at the village, his wife was overjoyed. It seemed like such a miraculous gift. But it wasn't. Each time he came back, he was worse. One night, without warning, he took two of his own children and roasted them on a fire. When his wife discovered it, she fled with her only remaining child in her arms. They destroy the ones closest to them first. The only solution is to run."
Hai-Qing Yang to Ward Meachum[src]

During centuries, the Elixir granted the leaders of the Hand with an incredible longevity. When one of them was killed, the "fingers" of the Hand also used the elixir to bring them back and repair their bodies. The Hand also used the elixir to immortalize certain supporters outside of their organization who had assisted them in their goals including an unnamed Chinese Shepherd and Harold Meachum.

The Elixir was manufactured from the use of both the bones of Dragons as well as human blood; the Hand would often force human subjects to provide most if not all of their blood reserves to create the substance. The combination of the two elements are done so in almost a ritualistic manner, as seen during the events for the preparations of Elektra's resurrection by the Hand.

Reid used the Hand's last reserves of the Substance to resurrect Elektra, leaving them vulnerable to their enemies for the first time in centuries.[1]


The Elixir was not only capable of granting it's user unlimited longevity and the means to return from death, but perhaps due to the properties of the enormous amount of Chi found in the Dragon bones used for the Elixir, it can further alter one's physiology and grant it's user enhanced abilities. After her resurrection, Elektra was able to perform feats of superhuman strength and endurance as she was able to compete with the likes of other enhanced individuals (such as Luke Cage and Jessica Jones).

The properties of the Elixir weren't unlimited as Alexandra Reid's body began to naturally reject the effects of the elixir after centuries of constant use. Despite healing fatal injuries, the Substance didn't completely heal its user as scars could still be visible, although it was able to regenerate lost limbs. The elixir also cannot revive a corpse that has been decapitated.

The Elixir however had one serious drawback in the form of a serious mental instability; Harold Meachum, being the prime example of this. After his first use of the serum, he became more sociopathic, and after his second resurrection his stability fractured. This also happened to Elektra to a lesser degree.